Fine motor skills activity: egg carton buttons

 So I saw this idea on Pinterest and decided to try it + make my own tutorial. It’s pretty easy, but a few points will make it easier!So you need:

  • an egg carton
  • two pipe cleaners
  • six buttons
  • wide grosgrain ribbon
  • wire cutters
  • candle lighter, preferably the kind that don’t blow out in the wind, they put out a very focused flame with a tiny point.

Step ONE: Cut each pipe cleaner into 3 parts. Bend in the middle and thread both ends through the holes in the button, then pull it down. If you try to do one then the other, it’s hard. Don’t ask me how I know, lol!

Step TWO: Poke two small holes in the bottom of the egg cups on one side of the carton. Thread the ends of the pipe cleaner through the holes and twist. Make sure there’s a little give on the button on the top so it’s not hard to get the ribbon buttoned onto it.

Step Three: I didn’t take a pic of this because I can’t simultaneously burn ribbon and snap pics with my cell phone. I really need another hand! So, cut your ribbon slightly longer than your carton. Burn both ends by quickly running the flame over the cut edge. Cut button holes by snipping the ribbon lengthwise about the same length as the button. Fold the ribbon lengthwise and quickly burn the cut edge before you try to button it on the button! If you attempt to button it to test your cut first, you’ll see immediate fraying. Ask me how I know ;-). Cut it too small if in doubt, you can always snip a bit more and burn again.

And that, folks, is all for today!


Children’s art display

  I’ve been wanting a way for the kids to display their artwork, so when I scored this big empty frame with basically a built in shelf, I knew I finally had what I needed.
  I mod podged coffee filters onto the frame because it was damaged. Then I painted the coffee filters.   

Then I stapled a bunch of twine to the back, criss-crossing it until I liked the design and then Eli made me add more :-)

 Added some mini clothespins and we were in business!

  It’s hanging on two command hooks because it’s not heavy and this way if they pull it off the wall there’s no nails to go flying. I used hooks instead of strips because a) I wasn’t sure if they’d just pull the coffee filters off the back and b) I’m out of strips, I had hooks, and I’m not terribly patient 😉 



DIY Fiber Art

So I’ve seen some fabulous yarn wall hangings on Pinterest, and I developed a major fiber crush on the whole look. So when I found this tutorial I had to make my own.

I had the yarn already, but with only one skein of gray and a skein and a half of the thick cream wool, it wasn’t enough for any knitting projects.

I wound twenty long strands back and forth between my hands and then doubled them up to make these thick bundles. The small aqua bundles are ten strands each. I basically looped it over my thumbs and wound it to make big loops that I cut after I’d tied them to the branch. I did it this way because I didn’t have anything large enough to wind the yarn around and my hanging is a much larger scale than the one she made in the tutorial.

My branch is 37″ long, and the longest bundle of yarn is 26″ inches from the branch. I wound that one almost as long as I could reach, so that bundle was about 60″ or so when I wound it.

The embroidery hoop is 12″. I just wove some yarn back and forth, wrapping it several times around the hoop each time. Then I added the three pom-poms to fill it out. Here’s an easy tutorial for how to make them on your hand, or you can purchase a pom-pom maker.

The whole thing is hung on a 12″ dowel because I needed something long to sit on the metal hanger.

This gallery system can be found here.

The photo board is a frame I found at Turnip Green Creative Reuse, a fabulous resource for artists and creatives here in Nashville. I wrapped it in burlap strips and stapled them to the back. Then I zig-zagged jute twine, stapling it as well. I didn’t draw a pattern I just kept going until I liked what I had.

I used bulldog clips (and will replace the mini clothespins with bulldog clips as soon as my new box arrives) to put up some art prints, and added coffee filter flowers made from this tutorial, and some pom-poms.

Folks, I might need an intervention. I can’t stop making pom-poms and coffee filter flowers.

And the third and final piece. I needed something narrower for this space and I remembered these two frames. Once upon I time I did professional photography and I was making a photo wall for a client. The frame company sent me these two without glass and backing, so I called and they sent me completes replacement frames. I liked these but I never knew what to do with them.

That was seven years ago. They are a rare exemption from my if I-don’t-use-it-in-a-year, it goes rule. I just knew I’d find a use for them.

I had some leftover hardware cloth outside, also about seven years old. I stapled it the back of the frames and connected the frames with a wide grosgrain ribbon.

I then covered all the staples and edges of the hardware cloth with wide masking tape, several layers thick so they wouldn’t mark the wall.

The “H” is just gray yarn woven around to fill the chosen squares up with yarn. I did use a yarn needle to make things easier but you could wrap the end of the yarn with a bit of masking tape too.

The heart is made up of coffee filters. I twisted each one and inserted it through each square. I poked all of them through until I got the desired design, then I trimmed off most of what was poking through the back  and applied masking tape to the stubs to keep them together. Then fluffed the filters and I was ready to hang!

I added a tight length of jute twine to hang the top picture from the gallery system, and used a single command picture strip on the bottom of the lower frame to stablise it and keep both pieces level.